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WASHINGTON, D.C., January 7, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-life and pro-family leaders sent a joint letter to members of the U.S. Congress and state legislators in Virginia this week in opposition to efforts to change the rules for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment and to force it through the Virginia legislature.

The letter was sent in advance of state-based votes expected in January and in anticipation of Congress taking up the effort in the new year. 

The letter’s signers include Students for Life of America (SFLA) President Kristan Hawkins, Live Action Founder and President Lila Rose, Family Foundation of Virginia President Victoria Cobb, Planned Parenthood director turned pro-life advocate Abby Johnson, and Concerned Women for America President and CEO Penny Nance.

“Let us be clear, laws protecting women’s interests will be undercut by the radical language of the ERA that strips away from women their unique place in the law,” the letter says. “Not only will real protections be overwritten by this heavy-handed measure, the most profound change will be creating a constitutional foothold for abortion and introduction of vague language on ‘sex’ that may harm women’s unique interests.” 

SFLA actively opposed the measure when Virginia last took it up, but in light of the change in the legislature, the ERA is expected to come up quickly. SFLA is also working in South Carolina and Utah, where lawmakers are considering the measure. 

As Hawkins noted in a recent op-ed at the Washington Times

“In 1972, Congress passed the ERA as a constitutional amendment, setting a deadline of ratification by March 1979 from three-fourths of the states (38). However, only 35 states voted in favor by that deadline, and since then five states voted to rescind their ratification. Rather than admitting defeat, Congress extended the deadline to June 1982. While some argue that extension wasn’t legal, it became a moot point as the measure failed again … The issue of abortion animates this debate as many believe the future of Roe v. Wade is in doubt given the shaky legal foundation on which rests. Roe legally allows abortion through all nine months, for any reason and at and sometimes with taxpayer funding. Should Roe v. Wade be overturned, the issue of abortion would be returned to the states, where people could have a voice and a vote on policy that today is decided by a handful of judges. Unless there is a new foothold in the Constitution through the ERA.”

“When Roe falls, the issue of abortion will return to the states where voters finally with have a voice and a vote on life-related policy,” said Hawkins. “The Pro-Life Generation will actively oppose the ERA as it really is a Trojan Horse for abortion, an attempt to create a Constitutional foothold to replace Roe.